Tuesday, August 22, 2006

  • Catching up on two weeks' news
  • Accelerator centre adds IT firm
  • More faculty going on sabbatical
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • credmond@uwaterloo.ca

Link of the day

International Congress of Mathematicians

When and where

Centre for International Governance Innovation presents Debra Steger, "Whither the WTO after the Doha Debacle?" 11:45 a.m., 57 Erb Street West.

UW-ACE service not available Wednesday because of software upgrade; more information online.

Waterloo Centre for German Studies conference on "Diaspora Experiences: German-Speaking Immigrants and Their Descendants", Thursday-Sunday, St. Paul's College, details online.

Computing Help and Information Place (CHIP) closed from 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Renison College official opening of new Academic Centre building, September 15, 11 a.m.

PhD oral defences

History. Ryan Touhey, "Partners in Time? Indo-Canadian Foreign Relations 1947-1976." Supervisor, John English. On display in the faculty of arts, HH 317. Oral defence Friday, August 25, 1:30 p.m., Humanities room 334.

Electrical and computer engineering. Jaewook Chung, "Issues in Implementation of Public Key Cryptography." Supervisor, M. A. Hasan. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Monday, August 28, 9:30 a.m., CEIT room 3142.

Optometry. Fenghe Lu, "Biomechanical Alteration of Corneal Morphology After Corneal Refractive Therapy." Supervisor, T. L. Simpson. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Thursday, September 7, 9 a.m., Optometry room 347.

Health studies and gerontology. Jeff Poss, "Formal and Informal Resource Utilization in Long-Stay Home Care Clients: An Evaluation of the Rug-III/HC Case Mix Classification." Supervisor, John Hirdes. On display in the faculty of applied health sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Friday, September 8, 10 a.m., Matthews Hall room 3119.

Chemistry. Rong Li, "Development of a 3-D Multimedia Regional Fate and Chemical Transport Modelling System for Pesticides: Modifying and Coupling Models-3/CMAQ with PEM." Supervisor, J. J. Sloan. On deposit in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Friday, September 8, 1 p.m., Chemistry II room 278.

Catching up on two weeks' news

I've returned from a two-week vacation trip, during which the Daily Bulletin was created by other people — chiefly my colleague in Communications and Public Affairs, Pat Bow, to whom I'm very grateful — and I had the opportunity to experience the news from Waterloo as a reader instead of a writer. I found myself checking the Daily Bulletin from a deck chair beside the waves of an Atlantic beach, from a sitting-room in a house where a notorious murder took place in 1892, and of course from a porch in my beloved Chautauqua. Let me review some of the news that I encountered from a distance:

• The Federation of Students said it was "thrilled" that the Ontario Highway Transport Board had given the okay for the Fed Bus to resume operations this fall. Greyhound Canada, the commercial bus operator licensed to run on some of the same routes, had opposed approval for the Feds' lower-cost service, but the board gave its okay, with some restrictions (such as a guarantee that only Federation members would be riding the buses). Says a Feds news release: "The Fed Bus ridership has been growing steadily in recent years, with 29,389 one-way trips taken last year alone. Tickets are currently priced at $9/one way and $17/return trip. The Fed Bus runs to various destinations within the GTA such as Islington, York Mills, Downsview and Scarborough, as well as Hamilton and London. On long weekends such as Canada Day and Thanksgiving, the Fed Bus also runs to Ottawa."

• Laura Talbot-Allan, a vice-president of UW since 2001, with the portfolio of "university relations" until May 2005 and "external relations" since then, announced that she was resigning. She said she'll be "returning to consulting along with continued volunteer work and some travel", and will be based in Kingston. Talbot-Allan, who had been away from the university for several weeks when the announcement came, has been responsible for development (including Campaign Waterloo) and alumni affairs, government relations, and the things we do here in Communications and Public Affairs.

• The institutional analysis and planning office reported that, based on admissions and acceptance figures and some abstruse calculations, it estimates UW will have 5,748 first-year students as of November 1. That would be 105 per cent of the stated target of 5,467. Enrolment statistics are complicated, and of course percentages vary considerably from one faculty and program to another; I expect to return to these numbers, and any updates that appear, over the weeks that lie ahead.

Also during the past two weeks it was announced that electrical and computer engineering professor (and associate dean) Tony Vannelli is leaving to become a dean at Guelph; that Jake Thiessen, director of the school of pharmacy, will also have the title of director of the Health Sciences Campus; and that a group of accountancy students will live together in residence this fall as part of an experimental "living-learning community". Anybody who claims that nothing happens at a university in August certainly doesn't know Waterloo.

You'll notice, incidentally, that I managed to be away during the conversion of on-campus phones from four-digit numbers to five-digit ones. Good planning, eh?

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Accelerator centre adds IT firm

a news release from the Research and Technology Park

CGI Group Inc., a global leader in information technology and business process services, adds Waterloo to more than 100 office locations from which over 24,500 professionals serve clients in 16 countries. The new location is situated on the second floor of the environmentally progressive Accelerator Building in the UW Research + Technology Park.

Waterloo is a natural expansion location for CGI, Canada’s largest IT services company. The office will ensure that some of its largest insurance clients — including The Co-operators, The Economical Insurance Group and Manulife Financial — have immediate access to CGI professionals as a result of close physical proximity.

“In this era of the ‘fly-in’ consultant, CGI differentiates itself by locating key professionals physically close to our clients. This helps us truly understand their business needs, enables close collaboration on projects and ensures immediate accountability. It is through our local professionals that our clients access CGI’s global capabilities,” says Michael E. Roach, President and Chief Executive Officer at CGI. “Inversely, we will leverage the advanced business and IT skill sets available from highly-qualified candidates in the Waterloo area to serve clients in many different industries around the world, as part of our global service delivery strategy."

Said UW president David Johnston: “CGI is an ideal partner for the Research Park and the Region. They are committed to providing highly effective services and solutions that transform their clients’ business. They have a passion for excellence and foster an environment where quality and dedication to fulfilling their clients’ needs are key elements of their culture."

Conceived by Laird Robertson of Robertson Simmons Architects and developed by The Cora Group, the Accelerator Building has been designed to minimize its impact on the environment. Among the environmental features of the building is the second largest extensive green roof in Canada which reduces energy requirements for air conditioning and minimized water runoff.

"Managing over two million square feet of space in the Waterloo Region has allowed The Cora Group to enjoy tremendous success in the development and management of some of the most prestigious properties in our markets. The recent addition of the Accelerator Building to our portfolio allows us to continue with the tradition of providing the highest level of tenant care, in a highly progressive and environmentally friendly building. In collaboration with our partners at the University of Waterloo, the Research Park, and Canada's Technology Triangle, we welcome CGI to the Waterloo Region and all look forward to a long lasting relationship with this highly respected company," said Adrian Conrad, Cora's Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Founded in 1976, CGI Group Inc. is one of the largest independent information technology and business process services firms in the world. CGI and its affiliated companies employ approximately 24,500 professionals. CGI provides end-to-end IT and business process services to clients worldwide from offices in Canada, the U.S., Europe, Asia Pacific and India.

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More faculty going on sabbatical

Here's another list of UW faculty members who will be starting year-long sabbatical leaves on September 1. Their plans are as described in the agendas of the UW board of governors, which has to give its approval to each sabbatical.

M. Anwarul Hasan, electrical and computer engineering: "During the proposed sabbatical leave, I will continue my ongoing research efforts on cryptographic computations and their security issues. I intend to visit three research teams/labs in France that work in similar areas. In addition, new collaborations with industry will be explored."

Edward A. Sudicky, earth sciences: "My plans are to further enhance collaborative research with colleagues in Germany, the United States, South Korea and Canada on modelling integrated surface/subsurface flow systems, and prepare a series of research papers on this topic based on recently completed research."

Johnny W. Wong, computer science: "I plan to work on three research problems: dynamic resource provisioning in computer systems, performance and scalability of information delivery service and resource management in wireless networks. I also plan to visit the IBM Toronto Lab Centre for Advanced Studies, Queen's University and perhaps Georgia Tech. I expect to be at Waterloo for approximately 75% of the time."

Michael Power, biology: "I will use this sabbatical to catch up on the backlog of publication obligations accrued during a 13-year period with no sabbatical leave of absence."

Bruce Richmond, combinatorics and optimization: "During this sabbatical I will concentrate on research. I plan to visit Ed Bender at UCSD and D. Merlini at the University of Firenze, Italy. We will do research on random combinatorial objects. I plan to work with Daniel Panario at Carleton University on random combinatorial objects and on the analysis of computer algebra algorithms."

By the way, during my recent trip I visited the home of Joshua Chamberlain, one of the heroes of the Battle of Gettysburg, which is now a museum on the campus of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Chamberlain was an English professor at Bowdoin (and later president of the college), and the story is that when the U.S. Civil War broke out, he wangled a sabbatical leave, then persuaded the authorities to give him a commission as a colonel in one of the Maine regiments. As far as I know, no Waterloo professor has done anything quite that adventurous during a sabbatical.


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